Well, it’s that time of year again when students return to school. Sometimes they are returning to a familiar place, or maybe it is brand new. Maybe they are transitioning from high school to college, or maybe it is a return to the same place to enter into another year. But this time of year can bring about many emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Sometimes there is fear of the unknown. Or anxiety about achieving success. Sometimes there is a strain to be perfectionistic. Or maybe there is some rebellion, in what may be the first time away from home. And these feelings are experienced by both parents and their children, the students. And after Princeton Review posted their Best 361 College Rankings, you may be breathing a sigh of relief that your student is at one of the top academic schools, or you might have a sense of anxiety that you are sending your child to a top party school.

Now, I am no expert. I am 30 years old. Having completed four years of undgergraduate work, five years of graduate school, and about to return to more graduate school; and I’m entering into my fifth school year as a college pastor. These things do not make me an expert, but they do qualify me to speak with some experience on the matter. As much as one can speak when one has not sent children to college before.

But as a college pastor, I have had the unique opportunity to watch many students come into college, and I have been paying close attention to what makes a school year successful, for both parents and students. Some of my insights are those that I have formed from merely watching and observing, but for the most part, they have come out of my experience of being good friends with the students in my ministry, and as I have walked through life with them together, they have taught me many things.

Over the next couple of weeks I would like to impart some advice to both parents and students. This is not going to be something lengthy or abstract. But simply some advice, coming in different forms. Some small things that I have noticed that make a difference for the school year. And I hope that these insights will help you as a parent, as well as helping you as a student. And maybe it could be a joint learning experience, parent and student.

Look for my first post tomorrow…..and some advice for both parents and students.